Yes, well, that doesn’t mean that much either.

A letter-writer in today’s Houston Chronicle:

(Amy Winehouse) more closely will be positioned alongside other members of the 27 club such as Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, lead singer of Canned Heat, or Pete Hamm, lead singer of Badfinger. Even association with them might be a stretch. You can still hear the music of Canned Heat and Badfinger along with the big four on every classic rock station in the country.

Yeah, and? Why do they still play the likes of Canned Heat and Badfinger on classic rock radio? You know I’ve commented here before on how those oldies stations have played some songs into the ground, but on the other hand I have to wonder why some songs and/or artists got played at all. My folks are big fans of the late ’60s and ’70s classic rock. I remember a cd of Badfinger made its way into my mother’s collection, she played it one day, and I thought, “Is this all there is to that band? Yawn.” It’s not as if Pete Hamm was that memorable of a vocalist. (And yeah, I thought this long before I was introduced to certain ’80s heavy metal bands.) From what I’ve heard about Amy Winehouse the same can’t be said of her; in fact — again, from what I’ve heard about her — about the only reason she would go in that lower tier of musicians who died at 27 is the genre in which she chose to make her mark.

But now that I think about it, that whole “27 club” is a load of crap anyway. Why should certain artists be venerated more just because they died young? Even if Jimi Hendrix hadn’t died so young, he still would have been a talented musician who made invaluable contributions to the rock’n’roll canon.

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2 Responses to “Yes, well, that doesn’t mean that much either.”

  1. Albatross Says:

    Even if Jimi Hendrix hadn’t died so young, he still would have been a talented musician who made invaluable contributions to the rock’n’roll canon.

    Amen to that. I’d hate to think anyone would think Stevie Ray Vaughan as less important simply because he made it past 27. That arbitrary age is a silly marker of talent.

  2. southtexaspistolero Says:

    Yep. I have to wonder how much of Kurt Cobain’s elevation to musical genius status has to do with his painting the wall with his brains. (Ooh, masterpiece of abstract art…)

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